Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Jackson State University is closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus. We are planning for several contingency scenarios and taking decisive, informed action to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the continuity of our teaching and research mission. The University remains open and operational with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community. We will continue to update the community regularly to keep you informed of additional measures.

JSU Faculty and Staff: Return to On-Campus Work

Updates

July 2

 

To: All University Employees

From: Thomas Hudson, Acting President

Re: Reopening JSU: Phase 3

 

Jackson State University began its phased approach to returning to work on June 8, 2020 through July 6, 2020. The university was scheduled to resume its normal work schedule for all employees on July 6, 2020. Due to an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, phase 3 has now been extended to begin on July 20, 2020.

Supervisors are encouraged to remain flexible and allow employees to work remotely as much as possible. There are several staffing options for departments to consider to ensure the safety of our vulnerable population, maintain unit functionality, and required social distancing measures, including,

Telework: Employees, if possible, can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities.

Alternating Days: Departments may schedule partial staffing on alternating days to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus

Staggered Reporting/Departing: The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many employees together at common entry/exit points of the building. Consider staggering work schedules to help mitigate risk.

Phase 3: Normal Operations – All departments and campus buildings will be open, and employees are expected to report to work at their pre-COVID-19 work schedule. Employees returning to work can assist in a safe and healthy campus by properly sanitizing office equipment/areas, using technology in place of in-person meetings, replacing paper processes with electronic processes.

We ask that you continue to monitor the COVID-19 blog for updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.

Acting President


Housing Announcements

THD Housing Portal

CLOSED for Fall 2020 semester


MOVE-IN DATES

First-Time Freshmen:  August 10-11, 2020

Transfer Students:  August 12, 2020

Graduate Students:  August 13, 2020

Returning Students:  August 13-15, 2020


MOVE-IN INFORMATION 

Housing & Residence Life is establishing a carefully organized move-in process spread out over several days to follow public health safety guidelines. In order to provide a socially-distanced and efficient Move-In experience, please review the following updates:

  • Unloading assistance will not be available. Bring your own dolly/hand truck to assist with your move-in.
  • We encourage you to limit the number of people helping you to two (2) Move-In assistants. Please do not bring anyone with you who may be sick or considered at risk.
  • Per local and University guidelines, all individuals will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the move-in process.
  • Please consider reducing the number of personal belongings you bring with you to campus. Doing so will help ensure you have a quick and easy unloading process.

If you have any questions, please contact housinginfo@jsums.edu. Additional move-in day information coming soon.


June 29

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson State University has revised its academic calendar for 2021-2022. Please see the updated academic calendar below.

https://www.jsums.edu/covid19/files/2020/06/Jackson-State-University-Academic-Calendar-6.26.2020.pdf


June 18

Message from Acting President Thomas Hudson: Return to On-Campus Work Phase 3

Dear Campus Community,

Jackson State University will initiate Phase 3 of our campus reopening on Monday, June 22, 2020. JSU continues to follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Mississippi, and the Institutions of Higher Learning. As we take steps to resume full operations, we ask that you continue to act responsibly by following all health precautions and sanitizing guidelines while exercising concern for others. While we cannot eliminate all risks, we will do everything we can to mitigate them.

Based on a schedule determined by the department leader, employees in the following areas will return to work on Monday, June 22, 2020:

  • Division of Institutional Advancement
  • Staff employees in all Colleges
  • Student Affairs
  • Division of Athletics
  • Division of General Counsel
  • Internal Audit
  • Institutional Research

The university has taken the below steps to ensure a safer environment.

  • We are making hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray readily available throughout the campus.
  • Face masks have been purchased for all employees and are required in common areas.
  • We will provide the appropriate safety equipment to employees based on job responsibilities and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) risk levels.
  • A plan has been implemented to increase the sanitization of common and high-traffic areas.
  • Upon arrival, all employees will be screened before entry on campus.
  • University-related business travel is restricted.

To keep yourself and others safe, we are asking employees to:

  • Adhere to social distancing protocols of at least 6 feet between yourself and others;
  • Practice regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds;
  • Wear your mask in all common areas; and
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and if you are sick, stay home.

Additional precautions will be taken to protect the most vulnerable employees, especially those with conditions that heighten the risk of the most severe COVID-19 cases. These plans will continue to evolve and be dependent upon what happens with the novel coronavirus over the next three months.

Please stay connected to your campus email for the most up-to-date information and visit the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions web page located at https://www.jsums.edu/covid19.

Thank you for your commitment to Jackson State. I look forward to welcoming you back to a safe and productive learning environment.

Sincerely,

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.

Acting President

 


June 12

Message from Acting President Thomas Hudson: Return to On-Campus Work Phase 2

Dear Campus Community,

Jackson State University will initiate Phase 2 of our campus reopening on Monday, June 15, 2020. JSU continues to follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Mississippi, and the Institutions of Higher Learning. As we take steps to resume full operations, we ask that you continue to act responsibly by following all health precautions and sanitizing guidelines while exercising concern for others. While we cannot eliminate all risks, we will do everything we can to mitigate them.

Based on a schedule determined by the department leader, employees in the following areas will return to work on Monday, June 15, 2020:

  • Human Resources/Payroll
  • Enrollment Management/Student Success
  • Division of Finance and Administration
  • Division of Academic Affairs
  • Departmental Chairs and Academic Program Coordinators
  • Post Office
  • Researchers (Individuals who are not able to conduct their research remotely.)
  • Information Technology
The university has taken the below steps to ensure a safer environment.
  • We are making hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray readily available throughout the campus.
  • Face masks have been purchased masks for all employees and are required in common areas.
  • We will provide the appropriate safety equipment to employees based on job responsibilities and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) risk levels.
  • A plan has been implemented to increase the sanitization of common and high-traffic areas.
  • Upon arrival, we will screen all employees before entry on campus.
  • University-related business travel is restricted.
To keep yourself and others safe, we are asking employees to:
  • Adhere to social distancing protocols of at least 6 feet between yourself and others;
  • Practice regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds;
  • Wear your mask in all common areas; and
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. If you are sick, stay home.

Additional precautions will be taken to protect the most vulnerable employees, especially those with conditions that heighten the risk of the most severe COVID-19 cases. These plans will continue to evolve and be dependent upon what happens with the novel coronavirus over the next three months.

Please stay connected to your campus email for the most up-to-date information and visit the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions web page located at https://www.jsums.edu/covid19.

Thank you for your commitment to Jackson State. I look forward to welcoming you back to a safe and productive learning environment.

Sincerely,

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.
Acting President

 


June 10

On-Campus Checkpoint Screening Process

As we welcome you back to the Jackson State University campus, we want to take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, and staff. 
Beginning tomorrow, June 11, 2020, the Prentiss Street and University Boulevard entrances will be open. On Monday, June 15, 2020, we will open an additional checkpoint at the Dalton Street entrance.

Below are guidelines that should be followed during the screening process.

Screening Process Steps

1. All employees should wear a face mask during the screening process.

2. Please have your JSU identification card ready to present to the JSU  Department of Public Safety officer.

3. The JSU Department of Public Safety officer will check your temperature.

4. You will be given a clearance sheet to place on your dashboard. Make sure the clearance sheet can be viewed through the windshield of your car.

5. If you show an elevated temperature, you will be directed to the Student Health Center for additional screening.

Thank you for your patience during this process. Please continue to monitor your JSU email and the COVID-19 blog for updates.


June 4, 2020

Message from Acting President Hudson

Dear Campus Community,

We should all be extremely proud of how we moved forward collaboratively and productively during this challenging time. I credit the faculty, staff, and students of Jackson State University for the successful end to our Spring 2020 semester. This effort could not have been accomplished without your tenacity, innovation, hard work, and compassion. Your efforts are commendable, and I thank you.

In a perfect world, we would return to the way things were before the pandemic. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Thus, we will strategically phase our reopening, keeping the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students at the forefront. To prepare for the Fall 2020 semester, we will begin to bring employees back to work gradually in phases. We are starting June 8, 2020 with members of the Administrative Council. Other employee groups will return in phases beginning June 15, 2020.

Our approach is contingent upon information and caveats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommended guidelines from the State of Mississippi and the Institutions of Higher Learning. As we take steps to resume full operations, we ask that you continue to act responsibly by following all health precautions and sanitizing guidelines while exercising concern for others. While we cannot eliminate all risks, we will do everything we can to mitigate them.

The university has taken the steps below to ensure a safer environment.

  • We are making hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray readily available throughout the campus.
  • We have purchased masks for all employees and will require their use in common areas.
  • We will provide the appropriate safety equipment to employees based on job responsibilities and the

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) risk levels.

  • We have implemented a plan of increased sanitization of common and high-traffic areas.
  • We will screen all employees before entry on campus.
  • We will restrict university-related business travel.

To keep yourself and others safe, we are asking employees to:

  • Adhere to social distancing protocols of at least 6 feet between yourself and others;
  • Practice regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds;
  • Wear your mask in all common areas; and
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and if you are sick, stay home.

We will take additional precautions to protect the most vulnerable employees, especially those with conditions that heighten the risk of the most severe COVID-19 cases. These plans will continue to evolve and be dependent upon what happens with the novel coronavirus over the next three months.

We will provide additional information about our reopening plans over the next few days. Many of you will have questions, concerns, and feedback about the return to campus. Please stay connected to your campus email for the most up-to-date information and visit the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions webpage located at https://www.jsums.edu/covid19.

Again, thank you for your dedication and commitment to ensuring the continuity of education during this epidemic. I look forward to welcoming you back to a safe and productive learning environment.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.

Acting President

__________________________________________________________________________________________

May 15, 2020

Update: Alternative grading options in response to the COVID-19 crisis

After conferring with a wide range of stakeholders including the faculty, students, the Faculty Senate, and administrators in all colleges, the Jackson State University Office of Academic Affairs is introducing a special grading option for students in response to the COVID-19 events. This policy on the Spring 2020 grades applies to all undergraduate courses. The policy and FAQs on special situations are discussed below.

Policy for Undergraduate Course Grades for Spring 2020

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses at Jackson State can choose either to retain the letter grade assigned by the instructor or to select an alternative grade. The alternative grades are PX- Pass and NC-No Credit. The alternative grades will have no impact on the student’s GPA.

 

Click here for full details

 

 


May 4, 2020

Message regarding the CARES Act

Dear Student,

Jackson State University is preparing to disburse student emergency funds in accordance with the CARES ACT federal legislation.  The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), provides emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.  For more information about the federal legislation, please visit https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/heerfstudentfaqs.pdf.

For more information and to complete the eligibility questionnaire (using your J Number and Net ID) click here .

 

 


May 1, 2020

Message from Acting President Thomas K. Hudson

 

Dear JSU students,

Our unique spring semester is drawing to a close, and it is still hard to believe how COVID-19 framed the course of our academic journey this year. However, I applaud each of you for remaining #JSUStrong as you hurdled the circumstances that arose as a result of this pandemic. Remember, within every challenge is an opportunity to grow in fortitude, character, innovation, and beyond. You all have shown immense tenacity and patience during this time. Thank you for your commitment to your education and JSU. Now, please allow me to update you on a few matters of importance.

Fall 2020 Semester. We intend to reopen the campus for the start of the Fall 2020 semester. As always, your well-being remains paramount. We are continually consulting with our health and education experts as we craft a comprehensive plan of action to ensure maximum safety when we welcome you back to campus in August. In the meantime, we urge you to fill out your FAFSA and complete your fall registration, which is currently open. For any additional guidance, please remember to contact your financial aid counselor or academic advisor.

CARES Act Grants for Students. Now, some of you may be familiar with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which establishes and endows the Higher Education Relief Fund. The CARES Act provides emergency financial relief to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. More information regarding disbursement, including the application process and the criteria for receiving funds, will be disseminated soon.

Housing and Meal Credit. As previously announced, we will be offering a pro-rata credit for housing and meals for those who were unable to return to campus due to the restructuring of this semester. You will have the option of applying this credit to your JSU account or receiving a direct refund. We will begin the process on or before May 15, 2020.

Alternative Grading Policy. In recognition of the impact COVID-19 has made on our traditional learning structure, we implemented an alternative grading policy for undergraduate and graduate students. These policies maintain the University’s academic integrity while giving students the flexibility to adjust to online and alternative instructional methods without penalty.

Summer School Session. All online course instruction will continue throughout the May 27 – July 28 summer sessions. Please note that summer registration is open, so reserve your spot today. We also encourage you to stay connected to your professors and academic advisors while navigating your online curriculum.

Spring 2020 Commencement. Finally, we understand that commencement is one of the most cherished memories of your higher education experience. We are unwavering in our mission to schedule a full ceremony for our spring 2020 class. You will be notified as soon as a new date is set. In the duration, we have planned a virtual day of celebration and congratulations for Saturday, May 9, 2020. We know that nothing can replace the full-bodied experience of commencement, and this is not our intention. But, as any family should, we want to acknowledge your milestone. Due to your educational investment, you have now reached the ultimate reward. We are enormously proud of your achievements and are confident that you will make an indelible mark in the world.

Please understand that every decision this semester was not made lightly. The best interest of our faculty, staff and, most importantly, you, our students is always the catalyst. We wanted to make sure that we protected the health and safety of the entire campus community while minimizing interference with our day-to-day operations. We have all had to adapt to an evolving landscape that has changed the way we engage with one another, both socially and professionally. However, we are, and will always be, Tiger Nation, which means that whatever the adversity, we will overcome it – together.

Sincerely,

 

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.

Acting President

 

 


April 28, 2020

 

Alternative Undergraduate Grading Options in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis 

After conferring with a wide range of stakeholders including the faculty, students, the Faculty Senate, and administrators in all colleges, the Jackson State University Office of Academic Affairs is introducing a special grading option for students in response to the COVID-19 events. This policy on the Spring 2020 grades applies to all undergraduate courses. The policy and FAQs on special situations are discussed below.

Policy for Undergraduate Course Grades for Spring 2020 

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses at Jackson State can choose either to retain the letter grade assigned by the instructor or to select an alternative grade. The alternative grades are P- Pass and NC-No Credit. The alternative grades will have no impact on the student’s GPA.

Click here for full details.

 


Alternative Graduate Grading Option in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis 

After conferring with an extensive group of stakeholders including the Division of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Council (who also conferred with Graduate Faculty in their respective departments), and administrators in all colleges, the Jackson State University Office of Academic Affairs is endorsing/advocating the utilization of “Incomplete-I” and “In Progress-IP” grade options for graduate students in response to the Coronavirus Crisis during the Spring 2020 semester. Furthermore, it was considered more permissible that graduate programs not opt in to the same alternative grading option plan advanced for undergraduate programs due to the significant concerns regarding external accreditation issues for graduate programs, student transcript evaluation by other universities and employers, and maintaining the University’s Carnegie Designation as a High Research Institution. Because of the concerns for ethical grade management during this time, alternate grade options have been recommended by the Jackson State University Graduate Division for the Spring 2020 semester. The policy and FAQs on special situations are discussed below.

Click here for full details.


April 16, 2020

JSU’s AAC will host testing for pre-screened individuals seen as high risk for COVID-19

Jackson State University’s Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center, 1400 John R. Lynch Street, is among two locations that will host a one-day, drive-through collection site 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 18, for those who have been screened as being at high risk for COVID-19. Both locations are appointment-only sites.

Residents of Hinds and Quitman counties and surrounding communities who meet certain criteria will be given an appointment at the testing sites to provide a specimen sample, via a nose swab, without exiting their vehicle.

The joint effort is being facilitated by the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi State Department of Health as efforts continue to stem transmission of the virus. Additionally, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi National Guard are partnering with UMMC and MSDH to coordinate mobile testing sites.

The other collection site Saturday for providing a specimen sample is Quitman County: Supervalu, 1012 Martin Luther King Drive, Marks.

Click here for more information.


April 10, 2020

Message from the President: IHL Guidance for prorated refunds of room, meals, and parking amid COVID-19

Dear Jackson State University Family,

Our commitment to the well-being of our JSU community remains our top priority as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the guidance of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, we are permitted to issue prorated refunds or credits to eligible students who are no longer on campus. Below are further details on refund and credit qualifications.

Jackson State University will refund or credit prorated room, board, and parking to students that are no longer on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The prorated amount will start on March 16, 2020, which is the 1st day that classes would have resumed if spring break had not been extended.

Room, board, and parking refunds may be a direct payment or credit to a student’s fall 2020 semester account.Refunds will be less any outstanding balance owed to the university. Students are not eligible for refunds that withdrew from the university prior to the 1st day classes would have resumed if spring break had not been extended…. Click here for full update.

Teach Remotely

As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 in the state of Mississippi, your health and safety remain at the forefront of our decision making. It is paramount that we strongly adhere to "social distancing" as a means to limit the transmission and combat any spread of the coronavirus. We have since begun the process of de-densifying (or decreasing) the number of on-campus students and personnel. 

Effective March 23 and until further notice:

  • All classes will be offered online through the end of the semester. Schools will communicate more specific guidance.

Learn Remotely

The decision to transition to remote learning aligns with our goal to reduce the number of interactions on campus, slow the rate of transmission, and protect our community. We understand there are personal, logistical, and financial challenges to these extraordinary measures. University leadership and your Schools are here to support you.

Effective March 23 and until further notice:

  • All classes will be offered online through the end of the semester. Schools will communicate more specific guidance.
  • All students who can return home or make other living accommodations, please do so and prepare to begin online instruction on Monday, March 23. All classes will be offered online through the end of the semester. 
  • While the University remains open with housing and food services available, we strongly encourage students to return home. 
  • As mentioned in a previous communication, we have some internal and external resources available to assist students who may face financial challenges associated with a move. We are especially fortunate to have JSU GAP Funding available for students in need of financial assistance.  A big thank-you to the JSU Development Foundation for making these funds available to our students.

Work Remotely

  • The university’s administration is continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. In the best interest of the university community, we have decided to extend telecommuting indefinitely.
  • We are continuing to ask only essential personnel report to work at this time. All Public Safety, Facilities and Construction Management, and Residential Life staff are asked to report as normal as we have several students remaining on campus.
  • We are requesting that non-essential personnel work from home if you are able. If you are not able to do so, please contact your supervisor for further instruction. Faculty will teach courses online.This notice is effective now
    and until further notice.

Travel

Travel can increase the risks of exposure to you and the community. Government restrictions and public health measures are changing fast. If you travel, those changes may make it hard for you to resume your academic and professional activities. 

  • The university has prohibited ALL university related travel, regardless of mode of transport. These restrictions are in place until further notice.

Events and Meetings

Jackson State University aims to limit the number of people on campus — including visitors — in order to slow the spread of the virus and protect faculty, staff and students from exposure.

  • Please note that all university-sponsored events are canceled for the duration of the semester. It is also with great consideration that we have decided to indefinitely postpone the graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies which were scheduled for Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2. Information regarding the conferral of degrees will be communicated at a later date.

Local and National Coronavirus Statistics

June 17, 2020

 

United States

Cases – 2.18 Million

Deaths – 119,000

 

Mississippi

Cases – 20,152

Deaths – 915

Additional Resources

Staying Safe

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to grow, public health officials warn that people of all ages can be affected by the virus — including young people — and urge everyone to follow social distancing precautions.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is critical to help curb the spread of the coronavirus and avoid overwhelming the nation’s health care system. Public health officials ask people to stay at least six feet away from others.


Learn Remotely

All classes will be offered online through the end of the semester. While the University remains open with housing and food services available, we strongly encourage students to return home.


Travel
Travel can increase the risks of exposure to you and the community. Government restrictions and public health measures are changing fast. If you travel, those changes may make it hard for you to resume your academic and professional activities.